A blog is a great way to grow your online community, but all it takes is a few poorly written blog posts to make your readership plummet and your brand suffer.

A great blog post is worth your time because it can bring about huge returns to your nonprofit by advancing your cause, positioning your organization as a leader in the field and building relationships with your audiences and funders.

A good blog post gets a reader to click through.

A GREAT blog post attracts new audiences, builds relationships with old ones and establishes you as a leader in your field — outcomes that can affect the bottom line — something every executive loves.

Top 5 Ingredients for a Good Blog Post

  1. A Good Headline

You can create content all day long but if you don’t get people to click on the link, it will be a waste of your time. “Threat” and “list” headlines are proven ways to get a reader’s attention. Read “52 Headline Hacks” by Jon Morrow to learn more about how to write a click-worthy headline.

  1. A Strong Lead

 A strong lead is SO IMPORTANT. Online readers have an incredibly short attention span — in fact, you probably won’t finish this article – so you better get to the point – like yesterday, already.

Also, when you post your article on Facebook, it pulls the first few lines of your post as a summary, so you’ll want to make sure those first few lines are catchy and engaging.

  1. Short Paragraphs

Break it up into chunks of information. As a general rule, no paragraph should be longer than 3-5 sentences. Again, get to the point, simply and quickly.

  1. Subheads and Links

Subheads are a wonderful way to break your information into chunks. Make them short and keep the tense, voice and capitalization consistent.

Hyperlink to outside resources, articles and examples that prove your points – this will give you more credibility as an author and legitimize your ideas. 

  1. A Visually Appealing Image

A great looking image can enhance your post, making it visually appealing, which is a proven way to engage readers.

Unless you have a budget for images, get them from Creative Commons only – otherwise you might get slapped with a huge fee and nobody wants that! Check out unsplash.com for high quality, Creative Commons images.

Now let’s turn your blog post from good to great…

Top 5 Ingredients for a GREAT Blog Post

  1. Character

This can turn your blog post from “so-so,” to “wowza!” With lots of practice, any writer can perfect this. Show your personality to demonstrate character in your blog posts. Tell stories to illustrate your points or share a personal anecdote to expand on your ideas. .

  1. Thought Leadership

As a nonprofit leader, what topics of discussion are frequently coming up in conversation? Those are great sources of inspiration for thought leadership pieces. Ask yourself this question, “What am I an expert on?” or “What do I constantly teach others about?” These are great questions to brainstorm thought leadership pieces from.

  1. Timeliness 

Craft a blog post around a news story, trending topic or controversial debate and you’ve got yourself a timely piece. The beauty of pieces like this is that they are more likely to show up in organic searches when Internet users are searching for the trending topic.

  1. Search Engine Optimized 

Don’t overdo it, but use key words in your blog post. Make it simple and ask yourself, what would I type into Google search if I were looking up this topic? Use those key words a few times throughout your post (where it makes sense, of course!) and Google will be more likely to index it higher in organic search. 

  1. Superb Content 

NOTHING makes a good blog post better than good ol’ fashioned content. Write something people enjoy reading, get value from and will share with others and you’ve got yourself a GREAT post. This infographic on CopyBlogger.com is a good place to start.

What have you done to take your blog post from good to GREEEEAAAT!?